Author
Topic: Sick Red Steenbras  (Read 318 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tkei

  • Ultimate member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 1198
  • Cred: 89
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Cape Town
Sick Red Steenbras
« on: January 11, 2019, 03:03:20 pm »
I spend the Dec holiday in the transkei. Unfortunately, the fishing was poor due to it being unusually windy, and unsettled. Moderate west, followed immediatly by 2-3 days string East (all directions of east) and then swinging back to moderate west.
Currents were very slight n-s or even light s-n. Water temp was ranging from 24 to 15, and would change between these overnight. Not great for fishing.


The only fish biting were red steenbras, and shallower nothing. Plenty bait, incl Natal stards, with coppers spitting up whole fresh natal sards.


One one day after not finding any blue water even the coppers wouldnt bite properly. As I called it a day I started reeling and went VAS. It gave a few nods to let me know it was a copper, but thereafter was easy. I thought it was a small fish, so took it incredibly easy so I could release it. we were in 98m of water. The fish dint take line, and only the odd mild nod.
About 10m below the boat the hook pulled. Great result, as it would swim back from there and i wanted to release it anyway.
Well 1min later it exploded out the water having bust its swim bladder, and eyes popping out its head.
We loaded it and noticed it had a significant portion of its tail missing (old injury) and I thought this was part of the reason for the poor fight. It was a sizable fish )39.5kgs so the tail injusry did not seem to be enough of a reason for the pap fish.


Upon cleaning the fish at the lauch I noticed some weird things.
Its liver was not the usual light pink, as was the 33kg fish we got earlier, but a dark mottled colour with hard black sections. The hard sections were very hard.
Then I removed its heart, At first I did not recognize it as being the heart. The heart was significantly larger than the 33kg's one, and it was white, not red, and was hard. It also had an enlarged section where the aorta entered the heart. I cut it open and inside the soft tissue was small in comparison to a healthy heart.
Clearly the tail was not the reason for the weakness in this fish. There could not have been much oxygenated blood in his system and the liver could not have been working too well.


Anyone ever come across something like this.
If it were a human, I would have bet he was a 60yr old alcoholic that smoked 60 camel pains per day since he was16yrs old.
The flesh was fine, and bar the tail injury, looked in fair condition.
Maybe good he is now out the gene pool.












Offline dugong

  • Ultimate Champ
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 1986
  • Cred: 54
  • Location: Durban - Warmwater country!!
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 03:26:12 pm »
Interesting!!
Just Fish!!!

Offline SAfish

  • Angler of the Month - April 2015
  • Ultimate Hero
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 7941
  • Cred: 136
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Knysna, South Africa
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 07:58:39 pm »
Very interesting. Marcos if possible, can you please give us more info on this?

Offline HooknCook

  • Ultimate member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 235
  • Cred: 5
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Natal
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 09:54:58 pm »
Very Interesting to hear this. Really well observed as most of us just gut it and continue without enough attention to detail.

Offline Visenvryheid

  • Senior Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Posts: 297
  • Cred: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Cape Town
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 11:07:38 pm »
I am sure the scientists in wakanda or whatever its called now would really like to look at a liver like that..Why not freeze it next time and get it to the experts to look see? Who knows but as we eat from the sea I am curious..

Offline tkei

  • Ultimate member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 1198
  • Cred: 89
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Cape Town
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 09:38:46 am »
I am sure the scientists in wakanda or whatever its called now would really like to look at a liver like that..Why not freeze it next time and get it to the experts to look see? Who knows but as we eat from the sea I am curious..
I only thought about that after the time. I really should have kept it but it went for a swim after I took a pic, which also nearly didn't happen.

Offline Visenvryheid

  • Senior Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Posts: 297
  • Cred: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Cape Town
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 01:52:38 pm »
Ja if you ever catch another..even then it will REALLY be cause for concern and then I'd REALLY be curious.. I'd love to know if there is a human hand and pollution envolved, or if it is genetic or just some disease..but ja thanks for sharing...Wow also one day to catch a copper like that is really on my bucket list..to release.. I try from the side at spots I have access to that were the prime spots in the old days but not yet, like fishing off a boat at these spots it is that deep.. Waiting for the day the blousterrentjies come past and push the romans off the reef and ledges.. ;) At the moment just smoothhound after smoothhound that eat my live streepies. Got little ones off the boat, but my bucket list is a big one up your neck of the woods and also a decent one from the side one day like they used to..

What is the shallowest that you ever got one of those big boys in and what water temp is it down deep in the column you find them in up there?

Offline tkei

  • Ultimate member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 1198
  • Cred: 89
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Cape Town
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 09:59:59 pm »
Interestingly, I have just been at a braai with a paediatric cardiologist and I showed her the pics. She had a name for the Heart condition (In humans) and said the liver condition likely to have followed from the hear issue.  Of course that in humans but may explain it.

Offline shu vawda

  • Senior Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 96
  • Cred: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Durban
Re: Sick Red Steenbras
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 08:51:42 am »
could be a possibity of mercury.there was a report that i read some time back where resident species where highly affected by it.


thank you for checking this as it could help learn more.